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how to start a grocery store in dubai

How to Start a Grocery Store in Dubai: A Comprehensive Guide

Starting a grocery store in Dubai can be a lucrative venture in a bustling and diverse city with a thriving population. With careful planning and execution, you can set up a successful business that caters to the everyday needs of the residents. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process, costs, requirements, approvals, benefits, and necessary documents to kick-start a grocery store in Dubai.

How to Start a Grocery Store in Dubai : Process:

  1. Business Plan: Begin by crafting a detailed business plan. Analyze the market, target audience, location, competition, and product range. Ensure that your store’s concept aligns with the specific neighborhood’s needs.
  2. Legal Structure: Choose a legal structure for your business. In Dubai, you can opt for a sole proprietorship, LLC, or a free zone company. Each has its own implications regarding ownership, liability, and registration requirements.
  3. Trade Name and Licensing: Select a unique trade name for your grocery store and register it with the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai. This step is crucial for obtaining the necessary licenses.
  4. Location: Choose a strategic location for your grocery store. Accessibility, foot traffic, and proximity to residential areas are key factors in your location decision.
  5. Licensing and Approvals: Obtain the necessary licenses and approvals. Typically, you will need a trade license, a commercial license, and a food trade license. Compliance with health and safety regulations is essential, and you may need to acquire other permits depending on the size and nature of your business.
  6. Suppliers and Inventory: Establish relationships with reliable suppliers. Ensure you have a diverse range of products to meet the demands of your target market. Maintain a well-organized inventory management system.
  7. Store Setup: Create an appealing and functional interior for your grocery store. Invest in shelving, refrigeration, and POS systems. Ensure your store is clean and meets all safety and hygiene standards.
  8. Staffing: Hire and train competent staff who can provide excellent customer service. Comply with labor laws regarding employee contracts, salaries, and benefits.
  9. Marketing and Promotion: Develop a marketing strategy to attract customers. Utilize both traditional and digital marketing channels, and consider loyalty programs to retain customers.

Cost Considerations to set up a grocery store:

The cost of starting a grocery store in Dubai can vary significantly based on location, size, and product range. Some major expenses to consider include:

  1. License Fees: Licensing fees can range from AED 10,000 to AED 15,000 or more, depending on the type of license and location.
  2. Rent: Rental costs for commercial space can vary widely, but you should allocate a substantial portion of your budget for this expense.
  3. Inventory: The cost of purchasing initial inventory can be substantial. It’s crucial to manage this cost-efficiently.
  4. Store Setup: Shelving, refrigeration, signage, and other store setup costs can be significant.
  5. Staff Wages: Budget for salaries and benefits for your staff.
  6. Marketing: Allocate funds for marketing and promotion to attract customers to your store.
  7. Operating Expenses: Consider utilities, insurance, and other operating costs.


To start your grocery store in Dubai, you’ll need to obtain various approvals from government departments. These may include approvals from the DED, the Food Safety Department, and the Dubai Municipality. It’s essential to work closely with these authorities to ensure that you meet all requirements.

Benefits of starting a grocery store or supermarket business in Dubai :

Starting a grocery store in Dubai can be a rewarding endeavor with several advantages:

  1. Steady Demand: The city’s growing population ensures a steady demand for grocery products.
  2. Diverse Customer Base: Dubai is a multicultural city, which means you can cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences.
  3. Tax Benefits: The UAE offers a favorable tax environment with no personal income or corporate taxes, making it an attractive location for business.
  4. Economic Stability: Dubai’s strong economy and infrastructure provide a stable business environment.

Required Documents for starting a grocery store in Dubai :

  • Trade name reservation certificate
  • Copy of your business plan
  • Passport copies of all shareholders and managers
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your sponsor, if applicable
  • Tenancy contract
  • Health and safety approvals
  • Food trade license

Why choose us?

With our expert team specializing in business setup in Dubai, we assist in starting grocery stores and more. Our team ensures a smooth and speedy company formation process by handling interactions with government departments and authorities. Focus on your business preparation while we handle the rest. Get a free consultation and clear your questions today !!

Note: Prices in free zones may change without notice. Contact us for the most up-to-date pricing based on current promotions and availability.


How much is a mini-mart license in Dubai?

  • The cost of a mini-mart license in Dubai can vary depending on several factors, including the location, size, and specific requirements of your business. It is advisable to contact the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) or consult with a business setup expert for accurate and up-to-date pricing information.

How do grocery stores and supermarkets differ, and are their business setup processes the same?

  • A grocery store is typically smaller, focusing on food items, while a supermarket is larger, offering a broader range of products, including non-food items. Business processes are similar but scale and scope differ.